Publican Recipes (2016-present)
These are the recipes we use day in and day out to fill the dessert menus, pastry cases, brunch offerings, catering orders, private events, and everything else in between. Most of them translate well to being made in home kitchens, provided you work with a scale.
Certain successes achieved in professional kitchens come from the efficiency of our equipment, and the quality of the products we are able to buy, particularly chocolates and alternative sugars. I’ll never understand why home cooks get the short end of the stick on cocoa powders.
I say this not to frighten home cooks from using these recipes, but to warn you that they have not been tested in home kitchens with the kinds of ingredients available in grocery stores. These are the recipes we use professionally. We leave them that way because there are countless recipe resources for home cooks, and surprisingly few for professionals. We at The Pastry Department have committed ourselves to furthering our own profession, and believe by sharing the professional grade recipes we use with other professionals we can best help our fellow pastry chefs grow.
I have shrunk the recipes from our production batches, which often make over 300 cookies, 100 sticky buns, or 5 gallons of ice cream at a time.
Lucky Peach Recipes (2014-2016)
I wrote a column for Lucky Peach called Pastry School that included some of my favorite fundamental pastry techniques. After Lucky Peach folded (R.I.P. friend) and the online archives disappeared, I started receiving requests for the recipes I provided. Here they are- I’m sad the column ended, we barely scratched the surface of fundamental pastry technique together.
Blackbird Recipes (2012-2015)
These are our formulas, direct from the pages in our kitchen binders at Blackbird and Avec. They aren’t the kind of recipes you’d see when flipping through the pages of a high gloss cookbook or posted on a website. They are written so professional cooks can achieve a consistent result on a daily basis. They are formulated for professional grade equipment, and assume a basic working knowledge of ingredients, pastry equipment, and technique. These formulas are exactly how our team achieves results.
We decided to post them exactly as we use them. There are a million and one recipes written for cooks in a home kitchen, and at the risk of isolating some of our readers, we decided not to rewrite our recipes for home use.
That being said, they do contain a great deal of information, and absolutely can be recreated in a home kitchen. You’ll need a digital scale, and a little thought. The ideas are the same, just structured a little different. We too leave our highly functional working kitchens and go home and bake. But more often than not, we have stocked our kitchen with a few things that make cooking and baking at home easier. The short list….. a food processor, a kitchen-aid stand mixer, a blender, half sheet pans, a fine mesh strainer, nesting stainless steel mixing bowls, industrial grade plastic wrap, sheets of parchment, , and a bag of ice in the freezer. Beyond these few items, everything in my kitchen looks much like any avid amateur baker.
At one time I used to make impassioned speeches on why home cooks need to buy a digital scale. I used to say comically arrogant things like, “oh, how many cups is that? it’s 2/3 of buy a scale” But in the past few years my cause has been championed by so many others I needn’t lecture.
So here is a growing list of the formulas we discuss in our posts, categorized by the texture they provide in a plated composition. Use them as a guide to help you create something of your own!
Puree Roasted Stone Fruit
Puree Poached Fruit